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Tuesday, Feb 20, 2024

Bin Laden Has Gotten Eveything on His Wish List This Year

Author: Drew Bennet '02

Congratulations America, you finally found a new enemy! Now it's time for another one of those wars that's not really declared, but lots of people are gonna die, and there's a red scare — I mean there's terrorists, there's a good and an evil-doer, and we must win, although there is no war to win. Once again, the enemy knows no boundaries and we get to go country hopping! Remember we had that great tour from Korea to The Congo to Cuba to Vietnam: we even got to help out in Afghanistan (Hey, did you hear? The last country to support the current Northern Aliance leader in Kabul was…the Soviet Union!) You see, people everywhere hate the United States and don't agree with its imperialist foreign policy, and thus: aren't with us, so we have to seek and destroy them all.

Up next is an old friend, Saddam Hussein. That's right, we're going after Iraq next. You probably didn't hear, what with all that noise in Afghanistan and all, but President Bush has been making threats against Saddam again. He called him up last week and said "Saddam, 'ya' gotta let the U.N. into your country so we can see if you've got any weapons of mass destruction or else"…(well, the '"or else" was "implied" according to our most well-respected and alumnus Ari Fleisher '82). And then the next day those crazy Iraqis shot at one of our planes when it was flying over their country! So we bombed 'em with destructive weapons right back in some "strategic locations," and Georgie stood up and waved a cowboy hat around while Ari asked him to "please sit down." Old friends are coming out of the woodwork for this one. Remember Dan Quayle (probably spelled it wrong), Arthur Schlesinger and Newt Gingrich? Well, they're all lobbying to "finish what we started," with Iraq and Saddam.

What, you didn't hear about any of this? Well, it's tough to make the news these days, especially if you're a voice of dissent. Where are they anyway? I mean isn't this a democracy, shouldn't there be more people raising fists behind one brave congresswoman from San Francisco? I guess everyone's just too busy shopping.

Well, then you're doing just fine, America. I guess shopping is the best medicine; I mean that is what they told us to do after Sept. 11: "OK everybody, nothing left to see here, enough mourning…get out, go on with your lives and for the love of God, don't forget to buy something (brought to you by Prudential Insurance)." And shop we have! We've purchased so many flags that a majority of voters in South Carolina now think an American flag looks just as good as a Confederate flag on most vehicles. Beautiful! I can't imagine a better way to spend the millions of dollars that have gone into the red, white and blue in the past few months.

We've shopped, we've bombed, we've won! So this is Christmas?! What have we done?! Well, we haven't won. And I know Georgie, "This is going to be a long battle, and lives will be lost…," But how do we win? We just defeated the Taliban, but all I see is loss. Osama bin Laden has managed to defeat us on some of the most important fronts. How has America grown stronger in these last few months through giving up so much we value? Since Sept. 11, we've seen the rise of discrimination and the fall of our civil liberties. The Detroit Police Force are being hailed for their sensitivity in sending letters requesting interviews with all Arab suspects (that is, every male in the metro area). Across the country, there have been dozens of cases of professors losing their jobs because of who they are and/or what they teach. There are people like Laili Helms, a former Taliban "liaison to the west," who lives in New Jersey in fear and whose children receive death threats from other kids parents.

What has Osama bin Laden lost? He wanted a war. He wanted us to polarize the world. He wanted it to be us against them (thanks again Georgie). So what do we do? We bomb on Ramadan (so this is Christmas?) against the wishes of almost every Arab ally. And what happens when we kill him? An event that it sounds like most Americans want televised. Can you imagine the wave of revenge terrorism after his death? Then do we win? Then can war be over, if we want it?